Monday, May 05, 2003

Just a quick entry today, it's already late and I have a full day tomorrow. First, thanks to jumpthrusomeday for the feedback on class with Tim at the NW Yoga thingie in Seattle.

I worked all day yesterday, so no practice. Not even some lame stretches in the call room. Today I went to the noon class. They just added the noon classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday a few months ago, maybe in the Fall. They work out great for me, timing -wise anyway. When I've worked overnight on a Sunday, there's not really any other class I can get to on Monday, except for the Intro course. Also, they provide an alternative for the other two days, if I'm off but won't be able to make it to my usual evening class for some reason.

Today's class is called a Prep class. The teacher will sometimes do an abbreviated 1st series, which she did today. At other times, she has done an Improv type class. As usual, I definitely appreciate doing as much of the normal first series sequence whenever I can. If I just do a bunch of Improv type classes, I still start to lose it in my hamstrings. I need to be working those areas regularly to make any headway. So, even though we didn't do really do any of the second half of the first series postures, it was a class that helped me a lot.

Every teacher seems to add their own unique positive to doing practice. This teacher is very good at verbal cues. Some teachers, if they try and describe what to do or what to be thinking, in fact just add mental clutter rather than insight. Our teacher today is one of the best at passing on just enough information to help me understand what I need to do or what I am doing, and not so much discussion that it becomes chatter. It's sort of like the return to fundamentals that I get in that Intro class. It's very easy to start to slip into some bad habits. It's good to have her making me go back and fine tune even the most basic aspects of a posture. Sometimes, in reading various message boards and articles and what not, I get the impression that in some circles, Ashtanga is considered to be something of a slapdash kind of affair where the emphasis is on the movement and breathing and following the system and not so much on technique and refinement. I think we get a very good foundation in technique and, in most things, we do our postures with as much attention and focus on structure as any Iyengari.

Tomorrow will be a practice that is dependent on the whims of the OR gods. Can I finish in time to get to evening practice? The default expectation is no. Some days though, the winds blow fairly and things fall into place, so you never know.

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